Anesthesia for surgery may put kids at long-term cognitive disadvantage. A single general anesthesia before age 3 has been linked to deficits at age 10 in using language and reasoning skills compared to children who were not exposed to anethesia during that time period. In the cohort studied most of the exposure was for minor surgical procedures. Peak synapse formation occurs through 3 years, and may help explain these findings.
PositiveTip: Surgical procedures for kids under 3 should be delayed, if possible, until they are older.